Violent Anti-Gay Remarks Doesn’t Always Mean New Twitter Followers; Just Ask Tracy Morgan from ’30 Rock’

Controversy always seems to pay off in social media for someone, but this time it’s not Tracy Morgan. The notoriously blunt comedian and star of “30 Rock” appeared recently in Nashville where, according to an account by audience member Kevin Rogers, Mr. Morgan explained if his son were gay he’d “pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.”

Apparently Mr. Morgan’s rant went on for some time.

“The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke,” wrote Mr. Rogers, who is himself gay.  Mr. Morgan’s “entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night.  He was truly filled with some hate towards” gays and lesbians.

Country music star and coach on NBC’s “The Voice” Blake Shelton tweeted his own violent distaste for gay men last month. How’d that work out for Blake? It earned him 40,000 extra followers on Twitter and a blimp in the news.

Tracy Morgan, on the other hand, did not tweet his disgust. The result? Despite the news coverage, Mr. Morgan’s apologies and outrage from Tina Fey and others, no discernible change occurred to @RealTracyMorgan, as you can see here:

Why? A few things of note:[unordered_list style=”bullet”]

  • The incident did not occur in social media but the “real world.”
  • Mr. Morgan’s Twitter account is not mentioned at all.
  • Mr. Morgan’s Twitter account is already on a remarkable increase, although it has slowed dropping below at least 1,000 new followers daily in recent days, which could indicate possibly he’s reaching a plateau rather than impact from this.

[/unordered_list]Kevin RogersAll this said, one person is benefiting in social media: Kevin Rogers, the gay man from Nashville who posted his account of the stand-up act on his Facebook page.

At this point, Mr. Roger’s account has 355 “likes” of his post and 672 comments. He’s also now boasting 1,859 friends.

Someone always wins in a social media controversy. In this case, it’s not the famous person.

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Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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